Lawyers for the former president argued that the judge’s ruling that stifled the DOJ’s investigation should be upheld in an effort to “restore order.”
WASHINGTON – Donald’s attorneys Trump dismissed because of a previous ‘storage dispute’ The president kept top secret documents at his Florida home, urging a judge on Monday to execute a directive temporarily halting important aspects of the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation.
Trump’s team called the seized documents “so-called ‘secret documents’,” saying the Justice Department failed to prove that the FBI seized the documents during the Mar-a-Lago raid. on August 8 has been classified or remains. The lawyers also claimed there was no evidence any documents were leaked to anyone and argued that Trump, as a former president, had “absolute access” to the documents. presidential data. of the United States is both erroneous and unprecedented,” they wrote. “At the root of the document retention dispute has spiraled out of control, the government is seeking to criminalize the 5th President’s possession of his personal and presidential records.”
The 21-page filing highlights important factual and legal disagreements between Trump’s attorneys and the US government as the Justice Department seeks to continue its criminal investigation into the withholding of defense information. at Mar-a-Lago and about possible obstruction of this investigation. Department lawyers in their own filing rejected the idea that the documents, many of which are considered top secret, belonging to Trump or Mar-a-Lago were authorized to store them.
Trump’s team also said Monday that it opposes the Justice Department’s proposal for an independent arbitrator to review documents seized during the FBI search. The Justice Department responded by telling the judge that in addition to the two retired judges he has recommended, he is also open to recommending one of the Trump team’s options for the job.
The investigation hit a snag last week when U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon approved the Trump team’s request to appoint an arbitrator, also known as a special master, and forbade time for the department to review. review documents for investigative purposes.
The Justice Department asked the judge to extend his stay and said he would challenge his decision in a federal appeals court. The department said its investigation was in danger of being irreparable if the order remained in place, noting that confusion over its scope had prompted the intelligence community to suspend a national security risk assessment. individual.
But Trump’s attorneys said on their own Monday that Cannon should not allow the FBI to continue reviewing the classified records. He said the government has unilaterally determined that the documents should be classified but has yet to prove that they remain so.
“By objecting to any neutral review of seized documents, the government seeks to prevent a reasonable first step toward restoring order from chaos and strengthening public trust.” in the integrity of the process,” the lawyers wrote.
In the meantime, on Friday night, the two sides offered different names of possible candidates to serve in the role of a particular employer, although they disagreed on the scope and exact function that the person must have. Cannon said the unappointed arbitrator will review the documents and remove anything from the investigation that might be covered by statements of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.
The Justice Department recommends either Barbara Jones, a retired Manhattan judge who has served as special counsel in previous high-profile investigations, or Thomas Griffith, an attorney for the United States Court of Appeals retired, who was appointed to the bench by former President George W. Bush. The department said in its proposal that the general public should not have access to classified documents, nor be empowered to review requests for executive privileges.
On Monday, Team Trump told the judge it opposes the two candidates but isn’t ready to say why publicly.
Trump’s attorneys suggested Raymond Dearie, a senior judge in the federal court operating in Brooklyn, or prominent Florida attorney Paul Huck Jr., and said the arbitrator must have access to the entire court. documentation and must be able to evaluate claims for executive privilege.
The Justice Department said it supported Dearie’s choice, beyond the two proposed names, but opposed Huck’s choice due to what it deemed a lack of relevant experience.
In Monday’s filing, Trump’s team again expressed broad views on presidential power, saying a president has “absolute access” to his presidential record and absolute power. to declassify any information without “the endorsement of bureaucratic elements of the executive branch.” – though he did not say, as Trump has argued, that he had actually declassified it. they.
Justice Department says Trump has no right to keep presidential documents. And the criminal laws that the department uses as the basis of its investigation, including laws that criminalize willful withholding of defense information, do not require records to be classified.
Regardless, the Justice Department said more than 100 documents with the classification mark were found in the search last month. He released a photo taken by agents inside Mar-a-Lago showing the covers of a handful of classified documents, some marked as top secret.
Trump, who often hangs out at his various properties, was at his golf club in Virginia on Monday.
Also check our article